Together with over 1,000 community members in Highland Park, Georgetown, and South Park, we’ve finalized Home Zone Plans and started construction

Home Zone walk with community members in Georgetown. Photo Credit: Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Summary 

  • When the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closed in March 2020, the neighborhoods of South Park, Highland Park and Georgetown experienced a large increase in detour traffic. 
  • We created a Home Zone for each of these neighborhoods, engaging community members to help decide on projects that would improve safety and mobility. 
  • With input from almost 1,000 people across the three neighborhoods, we drafted, then finalized Home Zone plans that include new walkways, speed humps, neighborhood greenways, and more. 
  • Home Zone project construction has already begun in some areas and will continue through 2022.  

What are Home Zones? 

Through the Home Zone Program, we develop traffic calming measures like traffic circles, speed humps and cushions, and walkways by centering the voices of the communities. In partnership with you and your neighbors, we implement changes to make streets safer and more accessible through this program. 

There were two pilot projects in 2019—one in South Park, the other in Broadview—to try out this Home Zone idea. You can read about them in this Pilot Project Implementation document. 

In the months following the March 23, 2020 closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge, we spoke with residents in the most-impacted communities along the detour route: South Park, Georgetown, and Highland Park.  

In those conversations, residents shared that they were concerned about increased cut-through traffic, speeding, and environmental impacts from the increase in vehicles passing through their neighborhoods. To help prioritize projects that would improve safety and mobility for these residents and their neighbors, we designated these communities as Reconnect West Seattle Home Zones

Then, we started our broad outreach process in these Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone neighborhoods. 

Starting in the fall of 2020, representatives from the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) met with community leaders to ask them about the most effective ways to engage with residents in each of the three neighborhoods. Our goal was to include a broad range of people and perspectives throughout the outreach process, not just those who historically have weighed in on public works projects. The South Park Neighborhood Association, Georgetown Community Council, and Highland Park Action Committee have helped us tremendously along the way, and we thank each member of these organizations who has collaborated with us! 

The Home Zone team participated in community meetings and one-on-one conversations, held neighborhood walks, employed community liaisons (trusted community messengers), and distributed surveys to share information and ask for feedback. Following these conversations, we made a draft Home Zone plan for each neighborhood. We then asked for more feedback on these draft plans from the community through a final round of surveys  advertised via local newsletters, community organizations’ email lists, and social media. All materials were offered in printed and electronic forms and in multiple languages. There were also interpretation services at meetings.  

If you live or work in South Park, Georgetown, or Highland Park and would like to sign up for email updates specific to your neighborhood, please send an email to WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov that includes the name of your neighborhood. 

Our final Home Zone plans reflect what we’ve heard from communities. 

Traffic calming measures like speed humps and cushions have been implemented in Highland Park as part of Reconnect West Seattle. Home Zone plans in Highland Park, Georgetown, and South Park will include similar measures. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

This second round of surveys, with nearly 1,000 responses in total, informed the development of the final Home Zone plans. They include a wide range of improvements focused on reducing neighborhood speeding and cut-through traffic and maintaining walkable, people-oriented streets. Improvements include speed humps, new walkways, neighborhood greenways, curb bulbs, and crossing improvements at busy streets.  

You can see final Home Zone plans for each neighborhood in the presentations linked below. We gave these presentations at neighborhood virtual meetings over the last couple of months, and each one contains background information and survey details along with maps of the final plans. We’ve also included a few quotes from local residents who have participated in this Home Zone process. Thank you to each of you for your collaboration and feedback! 

South Park  

  • “I saw the South Park Roots Newsletter and I was impressed I could understand the SDOT materials and talk about it with my community.” 
  • “I just moved from Oakland, and I’ve never seen outreach like this—it feels community-led and residents are getting heard. ” 

Georgetown 

  • “I appreciate that the outreach materials were easy to understand, and available in other languages. We do not see this type of effort in our community and I feel like we are being heard.” 
  • “Awesome job on the outreach, and for making materials accessible.” 

Highland Park 

  • “Thanks to you both (Danielle and Kristian of  DON) for facilitating and accelerating communication with city departments.  Your contribution has been invaluable.”  
  • “Process felt collaborative, felt like SDOT was responding. Outreach and process was inclusive and resulted in plans that will make the neighborhood safer.” 

Now, it’s time to get building!  

Construction of most of the Home Zone improvements will happen in 2021, and some work will continue into 2022. We’re committed to continuing the conversations and deepening the relationships that this Home Zone process has created. We’ll provide regular updates to each neighborhood, notify neighbors of specific construction projects happening nearby, and continue to be available to discuss questions, concerns, and ideas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov.  

This is a difficult time and, working together, we can make sure that those most impacted by the high bridge closure see safer, more accessible streets  in their neighborhoods.  

Thank you for your patience and participation in helping to make these improvements a reality.